A major point Ms. Edwards tries to get across in her book ‘Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain’ is that you shouldn’t attempt to draw recognizable shapes and objects. We have in our minds a stylized idea of what a face looks like, what a body looks like. So when we draw a face we base it on what’s in our mind, not what is in front of our eyes and what we draw is distorted by the stylization that lives in our heads.
Instead, we need to draw what we see. We need to ignore what the ‘logical’ side of the brain is telling us and draw what is in front of us. Not face, but a series of inter-related lines, shapes and values.
One common exercise to help do that is to copy an upside down picture. In her workbook Ms. Edwards provides 4 pictures to copy. The one I copied is a Picasso drawing of Igor Stravinsky.
Here is the image as I saw it:
Here is the picture that I drew:
And here is Mr. Picasso’s version right side up.
My guy is a bit fatter, his head longer and he grew an extra finger, but all in all, not bad. It wouldn’t have come out this well if I had drawn it right side up. Then I would have been trying to copy the person. Instead I concentrated almost exclusively on the lines and their relationships with one another.
It really does work.